|English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies debate at UNC in the New West building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
To say the purpose of argument is to convincing people, is like to say the purpose of art is copying what we see, is totally false. The purpose of argument I think is to test our opinions, by interacting with other's minds. Do we must do that? Or without argument with others, we have no way to have an valid opinions? We may or may not, but so often, one person's experience is limited, one brain also has its blind spot. Of course, not all arguments can achieve this purpose, but we must ARGUE to find it out.
To hold one's opinions seriously is wrong, but to test the validity of an opinion by dialectic means is healthy, and to argue all the way to the last point is only a natural thing to do for a thinking creature like a human.
Of course, it's perfect OK not to like argument, as we humans have great diversity in terms of mental activities, but to say argument is nonsense, is not VALID statement, by my opinion.
I personally find argument healthy and exciting. I "argue" with myself all the time. Many times after I found my arguments reached dead end I would start pounding my logic premises, which often helped me to find a better one. And sometime, a positive discussion could even made me felt like a better person. But why, so very often, when people lose argument they feel like life losers (I am not entirely free from this defect, but, I can proudly say I possessed it more in my remote past)? Why, can't we openly, loudly disagree with each other, and after all, still ware smiling faces and believe those who disagree with us are good persons? Why, so many people blame their opponents' obnoxiousness when they simply lost the "battles"? Isn't that because people take their opinions too seriously? Yes, we just touched something crucial: usually it is those who take their opinions seriously or personally dislike of arguments.
Logical reasoning is just like artists throwing paint on canvases, it is a creativity, and probably, the most precious creativity of all. We should not dismiss or disrespect such gift from our mother nature. There is nothing wrong to love argument. I have no doubt I had lost friends in my past life due to this nature of arguing, and will lose more in future, but since it's their choices over which I have no control, I can't care less.
*The term "argument" in this post means discussion, logical debate, dialectics, etc.